Bringing it back home…

Confession: I originally started homeschooling with this mental image of us reading classic pieces of literature around the fireplace… Learning to sew and craft, mastering culinary skills… And then, this year, because of trying to blog and work and teach and study and work out and *gasp*… Homeschooling became more of me throwing a workbook at my kids and hoping they do a page or two while we drive from one thing to the next.

This is what your average school day looks like in my home… Provided we are actually home and unrushed.

Now I realize that my mistake was trying to do or be more than a homeschooling mom. I lost sight of my priorities! I am not saying that I can’t advance personally or professionally in this season of parenting, but the truth is I need to put some things on the shelf until I’m in a different season.

Moms: there will come a day when your kids direct their own schedule. They will take college classes and work part-time, and they will drive themselves to all their activities. They will be successful, independent, contributing members of society. And you will have so much more time for all these dreams and projects you have shelved – I promise!


But these young children, who take up so much of your time right now, will only be this impressionable right now. This is your ONLY opportunity to teach them right from wrong, build Godly character, and place the foundation of everything else they will ever be or accomplish.

Studies show it’s really now or never with children. Statistics say that by the age of 12 their faith, habits, and beliefs about their family and their place in this world is pretty much set.

So we finished all our extra curricular activities, and I finished working. This is no easy feat for me… And I haven’t relinquished my weekly Zumba class… But we decided, while we do schooling, to learn to enjoy each other’s company and be at peace in the present. Kids included.

We have shopped for curriculum for next school year together. As a family. I let the kids give me input as to how they would like to learn next year (and what!). I am freeing us up as a family for more field trips and hiking.

It turns out my kids want more lessons where we sit down together and I teach them face to face. I have to put aside my phobia of crafting and science projects (gulp) and accept the probability that my house will get messy.

We don’t know what tomorrow brings. Our kids will grow and change. We can only fully enjoy who they are now if we spend time together now. This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m diving in!

Physical Therapy

Confession: I know what and how I’m supposed to eat. In 2014, when I reached over 200 lbs, I worked all year consistently to bring me down to 171 lbs. It took many attempts at the scale without it budging, but I did it. And today, weighing in at 193.7lbs, I realized I UN-did it. Big time.

kayak selfieI received some inspiration from my Kayaking trip today with other homeschooling moms from our co-op.  We got together and rowed for two hours while the dads and kiddos played in the woods.  I realized, in the immensity of the moment, that I wanted a life worth living.

So with that in mind, I am glad I’ve made some decisions this week to start steering my physical kayak back to where I need to be…

Funny story, it’s easy to over-correct on the kayak.  We did a lot of “8s” in the water until we figured out a rhythm.  I feel that for my husband and me, our health journey has been the same; a little too far to the left, a little too far to the right, so we are going in circles and not seeing consistent progress.

I’m going to let you know of all of my resources so that maybe some of these tips will help you too!

kayak1) When I’m having a hard time with cravings or I’ve spent a weekend eating really junky (as in, after traveling or holidays), I think a 3-day-detox is in order.  I don’t believe in crash dieting like this regularly.  But the truth is that deep fried, carb-loaded, processed and sugary food are today’s accepted crack!  It messes with your ability to tell if you are hungry or thirsty.  It destroys your mood and your sleep cycle.  That’s when a detox like this comes in handy – it helps your body rid itself of the things that are messing with your chemistry while providing plenty of vitamins and hydration to help you weather the hang-over headaches that WILL INEVITABLY COME when you cut out carbs and sugar.  Either way, this is a good “reset” button for your body and it helps you tackle your diet with much more control.  I noticed after I finished mine, I’ve had a LOT less coffee and I’ve eaten overall less calories even though I’m back to eating “normal”.  And these recipes are delicious!

full body2) I got Sqords for me and the kids.  Not like I need another activity tracker after having an Apple Watch, but it helps me compete actively with my children and have us all moving as a family.  A Sqord is, in essence, a child-safe and friendly “fit-bit” if I may – it rewards the kids with “coins” for their activity points, and breeds healthy competition.  I can’t afford more gymnastics for the kids over the summer, and I needed to get off my toosh with them if this is going to be a permanent change for me.  Not to mention, it’s WAY cheaper and more durable!

3) I signed up with a local friend to be a part of her 21-Day-Fix Beach Body group.  I have the program, I re-ordered containers.  I know how it works, and I did it before, although it’s been two years now… I realize that group accountability means wonders for me!  There is a certain extrinsic reward in going on Facebook and telling a group of people that “I DID MY WORK OUT TODAY!” and having them cheer and actually CARE! (As opposed to, “oh. Another #runfie.”) I don’t know that I’m strong enough to do this alone.

runfie4) We have the amazing blessing through my husband’s job to be eligible for Prevent by Omada Health.  So thanks to our insurance, my husband and I both were enrolled in a 16 week program complete with a personal coach, a support group, a food tracking app, scales, and education.  All 16 weeks long.  I am so excited for this!  Mainly because Facebook groups get overwhelming.  So many posts get lost in the shuffle and honestly, I find myself deleting the Facebook app from my phone often – only to download it again because I HAVE to wait for an important notification or announcement.

Believing in God to heal Jackie and provide for her family as she commits this battle to the Lord.
Believing in God to heal Jackie and provide for her family as she commits this battle to the Lord.

AKRFW 165) I get motivated to exercise if I have a goal to shoot for.  So I’m training for a few things:  On June 11th, 2016, my daughter and I are running in the Alaska Run For Women in honor of our friend Jackie (in Florida) who was recently diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer.  So we will be devoting our training time between now and then to praying for her and listening to uplifting, Godly music.  And then we are going to run as fast as I can.  We don’t have a lot of time to train so I’m expecting to do some walking.

jackie strong
Andrew BikeLately my husband has gotten into running, although he prefers biking (we did ok at the Alaska Heart Run in honor of #warriorlincoln and he’s open to training with me now! YAY!).  So I signed up with my husband to bike some miles through out June to fundraise against children’s cancer. Not too many miles – I’m not much of a biker – but I do have a nephew who was diagnosed with liver cancer at 6 months of age.  Now about 4 years old, he’s still cancer free (yay!) but it was quite the journey, and my husband would rather I die on a bike trail than I shave my head for St. Baldrick’s… again…

All this should keep me moving. Somehow, I gotta get past the joint pain and fatigue and do SOMETHING.  I may be kind of useless after this, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take to reclaim my health and build a new lifestyle we can all get behind as a family!  Who knows?  Maybe in the winter I can swim like crazy and come next Spring, I’m ready for a triathlon!

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You…

Hey guys! I’m sorry I have been so inconsistent with blogging.  I’m still in between plenty of stuff and it has been exciting! And oh so valuable!

Alaska Team 2016... and parents.  Or as I like to be called, "Wrangler".
Alaska Team 2016… and parents. Or as I like to be called, “Wrangler”.

Bible Quiz went great – even though we didn’t bring any awards home.  Well, he actually won one award, and left it at the church.  It was a fun experience that resulted in a $125 speeding ticket in the middle of no-where, Washington State.  But I can honestly say that Anakin knows the book of Acts better than most adults!  And he found out I’m kinda’ cool for a mom.  And we improved friendships.

We are now working on a huge thank you stack of cards to mail to everyone who has helped Anakin go compete in Washington through buying Northern Lights Coupon Books, or Empanadas.

It near killed me.  I could sleep for two days straight, but I am oh so happy!
It near killed me. I could sleep for two days straight, but I am oh so happy!

Mother’s Day was a de-stress for me.  I had taught a few extra Zumba classes so I was EXHAUSTED. Come Saturday night after an Usborne Books and More party I was a vegetable. I blinked, had fried chicken wings, and converted oxygen into carbon dioxide.

Maybe that was an exaggeration…

… I went to the movies, slept in, and pretty much let the hubby and kids run the show.  I relaxed.  Had friends come over and we played board games and ate cookies.

My kids had a school performance and now they have one more performance for their music class.  The “school year” is wrapping up.  And, thanks to a wonderful Curriculum Fair that the charter school did, I was able to get everything I needed for next school year, which we can start in July or August… Or October.  The possibilities are endless!

It's so pretty!
It’s so pretty!

Now I’m scaling back on the Zumba to focus on our family’s participation in the Three Barons Renaissance Fair.  First year!  We are vendors of the Faerie Realm, and we get to not just wear medieval clothing, but add faerie flare, and cosplay! My WHOLE family is getting into costume and practicing our Irish accent.

Does not get any better than this.

In between all this I’m reclaiming my health, starting a detox today and working my way towards eating clean and killing these coffee, sugar, donut, and deep fried stuff craving.  As I’m working on detoxing my body, I’m also detoxing my mind – I deleted the Facebook app off my phone (I can still access it on my app), re-did my book library, grabbed a good devotional, and off I go!

I was given a book to review, “I Don’t Wait Any More” by Grace Thornton.  I’m going to get to it as soon as I can so I can let you all know how good it is.

So this is all in the works, as I have plenty of write to you about.  My life feels like it’s turning yet again, and my faith is pressured to grow to keep up with demands.  But sometimes you can’t tweet, Facebook, or even blog about it – you have to live it, to see it through, and process it in the light of Scripture.

A transparent look at faith, family, and fitness from my perspective…